Black Country

Designated: 2020

Description:

The Geopark is a special urban landscape in the heart of England with geology spanning 428 million years that is well known for its exceptionally well-preserved fossils. The Black Country is also rich in coal, ironstone and limestone, resources which inspired discovery, invention and innovation and placed the region at the centre of the Industrial Revolution which continues to shape the modern world. The Geopark boasts a range of varied geosites including landscapes and viewpoints, disused mines and quarries, canals, national and local nature reserves, museums with spectacular collections, open air visitor attractions and many historic buildings. It connects the geology under our feet with cultural and industrial heritage.

Web references:

Visited?

Not yet (passed through, but never really visited) – but must hunt out some of these fossil sites!

Postcards?

Not sure – will have to hunt through my UK boxes!

Les iles Marquises

Brief description

The Marquesas Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean, near the Equator, between 8 ° and 11 ° south, about 5,700 km from Australia, 6,000 km from the American continent, and 8,000 km from South Asia. This archipelago, considered one of the most isolated in the world, is made up of a dozen main islands of volcanic origin, between 0.4 million and 7 million years old.

The Marquesas Islands bear an exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition, to a living civilization, which almost disappeared.

Unesco WHS tentative list ref:  5564

I have never visited this site.

From my collection

The quay in Hakahau

Cards to swap

No spare cards available from this site.

Bouches de Bonifacio

Brief description

A natural ensemble in the extreme south of Corsica formed by high grandiose limestone cliffs forming a dazzling white front, including scree and sea caves, and by the archipelago of the Lavezzi Islands.

Unesco WHS tentative list ref:  1649

I have never visited Corsica.

From my collection

Cards to swap

No spare cards available from this site.

The Marble Basin of Carrara

Brief description

The protected area of Alpi Apuane, which are defined “Alps” due to their morphology, are a mountain system that goes from the north-west of Tuscany and spreads over a surface of 400 square km.

The large scale exploitation of Carrara quarries begins in the I century A.C., when the region was dominated by the Romans. From the ancient extracting activity many traces still remain: there are about 30 quarries from Roman age, and many cutting side from renaissance. Notable is the fact that quarries from Roman age are present only in the basins of Carrara and not in other extractive sites of Alpi Apuane: and that in the neighbourhood of Colonnata the biggest and more articulated roman quarry of Italy, or even of the world, is preserved.

Unesco WHS tentative list ref:  5004

I have never visited this site.

From my collection

italy-carrara

Cards to swap

No spare cards available from this site.

Lake Maggiore and Lake D’Orta lakelands

Brief description

The proposed site is situated in Piemonte, in the provinces of Novara , Verbania and Pallanza, on the eastern side of the Pre-Alpine lake district, at 200-220 m above sea level (Lake Maggiore) and 280.300 m above sea level (Lake d’Orta).There are several very small islands (the largest ones measure 200-300m), and villas and gardens have remodelled the gentle slopes on the mainland.

The “modelling” or landscaping of the lakelands began in the 16th century, at the time of what is known as “antica Civiltà della Riviera” (ancient Riviera Culture): a revival of commerce, liberal activities and the arts. A particular type of building appeared, especially around Lake d’Orta, halfway between a town house, or palazzo, and a country house, in line with its destination as holiday residence and often enriched with an abundance of virtuosities in the decorations of the façade and wrought iron railings. The celebrated villas on the Lake Maggiore islands were built in those same years, namely the villa-palazzo commissioned by Lancellotto Borromeo on Isola Madre at the beginning of the 16th century and the monumental palazzo and formal gardens on Isola Bella between 1620 and 1670. They are born of a creativity, typical of the period between the Renaissance and the Baroque, aimed at using architecture to conceive scenic landscapes crammed with illusionist, eccentric perspectives.

Unesco WHS tentative list ref:  325

I have never visited this site.

From my collection

italy-lakemaggiore

Cards to swap

Isola Bella and Isola Pescatori

Oasis de Gabès

Brief description

The only marine Oasis located along the Mediterranean coast and one of the last oases of this type in the world. Along the Tunisian East Coast, this thousand-year-old palm grove hosts more than 300 000 palm trees (the ones producing dates). Gabès was an essential crossroads between the desert and the coast for nomads and merchants.

Unesco WHS tentative list ref:  5386

I have never visited this site.

From my collection

tunisia-gabes

Cards to swap

No spare cards available from this site.

Central Park

Brief description

The design of New York City’s Central Park was the result of an 1858 competition won by American journalist and agriculturalist Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903) and British-born and trained architect Calvert Vaux (1925-1895). The period of original construction spanned the years between 1858 and 1873, with sections of the Park opened as they were completed. Encompassing some 843 acres (341 ha) in the center of Manhattan, Central Park is a magisterial composition, whose landscapes and structural features are placed to take advantage of the natural topography of the site, creating a varied tableau of harmonious naturalism and scenic beauty indicative of the picturesque landscape design tradition.

Unesco WHS tentative list ref:  6234

I have visited this site – well, walked through part of it! I remember watching ice skaters on a rink right at the far end.

From my collection

usa-centralpark

Cards to swap

Spare cards available from this site.

Tobago Main Ridge Forest Reserve

Brief description

The Main Ridge is literally the backbone of the island, Gutting lengthways across two thirds of Tobago’s surface. It encompasses 3958 hectares (9780 acres) of tropical rainforest specifically lower montane, lowland and xerophytic rainforest – and reaches a height of 604 metres. The majority of the forest reserve is lower montane, and is found at heights above 244 metres. This area receives the greatest amount of rainfall, the greatest exposure to wind and the lowest temperatures, making it an Evergreen Forest. The lowland rainforest is characterized by copious growth and is said to be the most prolific of all forest types, occurring here to a maximum of 366 metres. The xerophytic rainforest is found on the southern slopes of the Forest Reserve at heights above 244 metres, and is the driest compared to the other types.

The Main Ridge Forest Reserve is home to a number of flora and fauna; it is estimated that the rainforest provides habitats for twelve to sixteen species of mammals out of the nearly ninety mammal species in the Caribbean region, twenty-four non-poisonous snakes, sixteen lizards and two hundred and ten species of birds, the most outstanding being the bird species Campylopterus ensipennis – the White-tailed Sabrewing Hummingbird – that is both rare and endemic to Tobago.

Unesco WHS tentative list ref:  5646

I visited this site in 2014. If you like tropical birds and lush rainforest, it is perfect.

From my collection

I visited, but I don’t think I’ve found any cards to represent this site yet.

Cards to swap

No spare cards available from this site.

La Brea Pitch Lake

Brief description

The Pitch Lake is found in southwest Trinidad in the village of La Brea. The lake measures approximately one hundred (100) acres (41 hectares), and is estimated to be two hundred and fifty (250) feet (76 metres) deep in the centre. It holds about ten million (10,000,000) tons of pitch. It is situated about twelve hundred (1200) yards from the sea, in a depression immediately south of a 140 feet high hill, from the summit of which the ground slopes gently northwards to the sea.

The asphalt is an emulsion of water, gas, bitumen and mineral matter, the latter consisting largely of fine silica sand and a lesser amount of impalpably fine clay. In some parts of the Lake there is a small influx of soft material. This is accompanied by a stronger evolution of gas consisting principally of methane with a considerable proportion of carbon dioxide, and which also contains hydrogen sulphide. This influx gradually hardens and becomes like the main deposit of the asphalt. As this occurs fresh material breaks out elsewhere.

Although quiescent the asphalt still moves with a natural slow “stirring” action. Not only can the flow lines be seen on the surface of the asphalt, but prehistoric trees and other objects have been known in the past to have appeared, disappeared and reappeared.

In appearance the surface of the Lake is a uniform expanse of asphalt which is intersected by areas of water, the extent of which naturally varies according to the season.

Unesco WHS tentative list ref:  5645

I visited this site in 2014. A surreal place which you have to visit with a guide – who knows how to avoid the places where you might sink without a trace!

From my collection

scan to follow.

Cards to swap

Spare cards available from this site.

Etosha Pan

Brief description

The 4730 km2 Etosha Pan is a huge, pristine oval-shaped salt pan situated in northern Namibia. It is the central feature of Namibia’s Etosha National Park. It is the terminal playa of the Cuvelai drainage system in the lowest part of the Ovambo Basin at an elevation between 1,071 to 1,086 m above sea level. Smaller pans such as the connecting Fisher’s Pan in the east and adjacent Natukanaoka, Okahakana and Adamax Pans to the west, surround the main pan.

The only large animal to regularly inhabit the pan floor itself is ostriches that nest several kilometres into the pan where few predators will follow. In contrast, many species of large game are found around its edges as they rest on the bare pan floor. Water is found only in numerous spring-fed waterholes on the pan margin.

Unesco WHS tentative list ref:  6095

I have visited this site, in 2008. A dry place, with vast flat empty spaces, but also lots of wildlife. Where I saw one of my first rhinos (a proper view, rather than a glimpse).

From my collection

I have visited, but I not sure if I have any cards to represent this site yet.

Cards to swap

No spare cards available from this site.